A quick update:
The much awaited final circular from SEBI on MF commission disclosures is now available: http://www.sebi.gov.in/cms/sebi_data/attachdocs/1474371881657.pdf
There are two changes that SEBI seems to have made:
(1) The channel bias reflected in the original version has now been scrapped. Earlier, SEBI wanted a disclosure of direct plan NAVs of schemes even where investors had invested in the regular plan versions only. This was aimed at facilitating an easy comparison between the options, thus potentially influencing investors to opt for the "cheaper" version. This has now been scrapped. In the final CAS statement, only the NAV of the schemes/plans that the investor has invested in, will be shown.
(2) While absolute amount of commission will be disclosed (much to the disappointment of distributors who were hoping for only percentage level disclosure), there is a foot note that will be added in the CAS statement that the commission disclosed is gross commission and that service tax and distributor's operating expenses are not reflected in this. This foot note, it is hoped, will aid client conversations which many distributors now fear may revolve around commissions and pass backs rather than investments and goals.
Check out the disclosure format mandated in SEBI's circular. With this, a heightened level of commission disclosures is now a reality. Channel bias has mercifully taken a back seat.